Posts

To Believe or Not To Believe

Image
 "That Santa stuff isn't real," the boy from across the street told my kids.  Uh-oh.  I was upstairs folding laundry, but I still heard the boom that would likely lead to an avalanche of eye-opening revelations (and maybe some tears).  "Who do you think comes in your house at 3 in the morning and leaves you presents?" my 9-year-old son insisted. "He's real, I've seen him! At the mall!" my daughter, who had just turned 7, chimed in. "That's just a guy in a suit," the neighbor boy replied dismissively. Proof of life From the second floor, I called out, "Okay, that's enough!" to the kids arguing in my living room. Pretending we suddenly had to eat dinner, my husband asked the neighbor boy to leave. And we braced ourselves for what might be coming.  My son is a very young 9. He still loves playing dinosaur fights with his stuffies, snuggles with me at bedtime while I sing the same lullaby I've sung since he was a tod

Some Suggestions on Sleep

Image
Sleep when the baby sleeps.  But not when you're driving aimlessly to keep him asleep, or rinsing the sour tang of formula out of tiny clothes, or talking a walk with the stroller because you haven't seen the outdoors in three days. Sleep when the baby sleeps, but not when you're making dinner or being interrupted in the shower again or when your husband is asking about your day which revolves entirely around doing for others.  Sleep when the toddler sleeps, but not when she's teething or refusing a nap or finally sleeping and this is the only blessed hour of silence you have.  Sleep when the children sleep, but not through stomach viruses and weird sounds in the night, thirst or bad dreams, hacking coughs or nosebleeds. Not through repeated night terrors, burning questions, and mornings early enough to scald your eyes. Sleep when the pre-teens sleep. But not when they're at their first sleepover or swimming in heartbreak or struggling to find their tribe. There is

That Cul-de-Sac Life

Image
I want to live on the edge, but with a 401K and a black minivan where I can blast Snoop Dogg. I want to have a wedge-shaped yard chock full of outdoor accessories, to buy in bulk, and hear the latest gossip about who got an HOA violation for her grass being over the 8-inch limit even though she measured it and it was only 6 inches, thankyouverymuch.  I want my kids to ride their bikes in circles until they get dizzy and fall down, and then go set up a lemonade stand on the main road to snare homeowners who aren't lucky enough to live in our spherical utopia. I want to live that cul-de-sac life. Upper class of the middle class. There's something extra special about a suburban street terminating in a bulbous dead-end. It sets apart residents of that circular community-within-a-community while also bringing them closer together. Closer than those aloof residents who enjoy seemingly unlimited street parking, anyway.  Translated literally from French, cul-de-sac means "arse of

Top 10 Signs It's Time to Go Home

Image
Into every family vacation, a little misfortune must fall. Here's how to tell when it's time to end your beach vacation: 10. A wave steals husband's sunglasses  9. Backs of your hands get sunburned 8. Found a tick in the 6-year-old's hair 7. Somebody mentions the alligators at the state park, "but they don't bother you none" 6. Husband loses his hat 5. 9-year-old throws tantrum that we never let him do anything (while holding a boogie board, standing in the ocean, on vacation) 4. Sprained your ankle 10 minutes into a trip to the beach 3. 6-year-old gets stung by a jellyfish, has complete freak-out melt-down screaming on the beach 2. You run out of Blue Bell ice cream 1. Electricity goes out at the resort when it's 93 degrees outside These, my friends, are sure signs that it's time to pack it up, at least until next year. 6-year-old: "Are we going to take any ice cream home?"  

I Matter Too

Image
America worships children.  Parenthood is a religion with its own symbols, texts, and rites. The adoration of a protruding stomach, a dog-eared copy of What To Expect When You're Expecting, baptism by potty training. We warn other drivers of our babies on board as we move toward monuments built for children, stuffed full of entertainment or education or endless (unnecessary) consumer supplies. Then we drag our hours to the alter to be sacrificed for play dates, extracurricular activities, and child-centered vacations. Parents are a body continually devoured, week after tiresome week. Yet America generally ignores mothers.  Judged for not having children as well as having too many, women are pushed out of the hospital 48 hours after pushing out a new life, still bloody and battered. While fathers return to old responsibilities, mothers take one of two paths: Devote the minutes of the day to enriching play and early learning for which they have no training, or work like they're n

I Am Incorporating My Uterus, LLC

Image
Dear Secretary of State: This letter is to inform you of my decision to organize my uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, vaginal canal, and associated reproductive tissues (henceforth "MY UTERUS, LLC") into a domestic Limited Liability Company.  This will be a single-member LLC, entered into by myself, being the sole owner and operator of the aforementioned reproductive system.  Much like small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, uteri are the literal blood and tissue that keep the country moving forward. While small businesses account for 43.5 percent of the gross domestic product, uteri account for 100 percent of the people.  The purpose of MY UTERUS is to provide a uniquely safe and nourishing environment in which to grow a fertilized egg throughout the stages of gestation - from zygote to embryo to fetus to viable baby. However, recent court cases have shown that, in my state, I no longer have full rights to control my unique bodily organ in the ways that are

After Another School Shooting

Image
I had to ask my son last night.  I didn't want to scare him by telling him what happened in Texas, but I had to know how his teachers had prepared him for what has happened at far, far too many schools since Columbine High School.  "Honey, have your teachers talked to you about what to do if a bad guy with a gun came inside the school?"  He didn't even hesitate. He didn't even hesitate. "Yeah. They said to lock the door and go out the window," my son answered. "Unless the bad guy is coming in through the window, then we go out the door."  My sweet child -- who has been alive fewer years than have passed since a gunman blasted his way through a glass panel at Sandy Hook Elementary and killed 20 first-graders and six staff -- has been trained on what to do during a shooting.  He is not law enforcement. He was not conscripted into the military.  He is 9.  I know how he's the first one to come to the aid of another person. I've seen him sto